Helping a Town with Culvert Design and Small-Scale Flooding Issues Over a Roadway Critical to Emergency Services

Andrew R. Daus1 and Kevin E. Lansey2

1Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences

2Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

For my Master’s report, I am working with the small mining town of Superior, Arizona to help with the small-scale flooding issues and a culvert design to mitigate said issues. Every year during the monsoon season the crossing of Queen Creek over Mary Drive floods and is impassable for around eight to ten days in total. This presents a serious problem for emergency services, as the town’s only fire station lies on the south side of the crossing. When the crossing floods, the fire trucks or law enforcement have to take a detour lasting at minimum five minutes. These few minutes are very precious in an emergency situation. Seeing a problem and wanting to help find a solution, I got into contact with the county engineer and the town manager to come up with a plan. The first step was to determine the peak flow values for storms of various return intervals. This involved the SCS Curve Number method and HEC-HMS. The next step was to use FHWA’s HY-8 program to create some preliminary culvert designs. And the last and current step is to use HEC-RAS to better model Queen Creek with the peak flows and the culvert designs.